A service of Stephen W. Workman P.C




Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Impact of the New Copyright Laws on Online Copyright Infringement
By Steve Workman, Esq.

In another last article, also found on this web site, we took a look at the principles of copyright law and traditional notions of "third-party" liability for online copyright infringement. Hopefully, you are now armed with a good understanding of how those principles might apply to your Internet activities.

Now, let's turn out attention to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA is not an example of legislative clarity -- it's a terribly cumbersome statute. Nevertheless, it's my purpose here to try to relate its meaning and intent. As far as web site owner/operators and service providers are concerned, the main import of the DMCA is found at Title II: the "Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation." Title II adds a new section to the Copyright Act, Section 512, which limits liability for online service providers for acts of copyright infringement committed by their clients.

The liability limitations in Section 512 relate to four, distinct categories of conduct by a service provider: (1) transitory communications; (2) system caching; (3) storage of information on systems or networks at the direction of clients; and (4) information location tools. Each limitation affords a total bar on monetary damages against the service provider, and restricts the availability of injunctive relief. Moreover, a finding that a service provider qualifies for one of the limitations has no relevance to a determination of whether the provider qualifies for any of the other three -- they are distinct and separate inquiries.


Assembled Links Infringement

Unauthorized Copying of Assembled Links

Constitutes Copyright Infringement

The copyright laws of the United States, codified at Title 17 of the U.S. Code, and as incorporated into the Berne Convention on Copyright, provide intellectual property protection to a wide variety of creative works.  Obviously, these laws protect literary and artistic creations.  But they also serve to offer legal protections to individuals who select and assemble pre-existing data or information in a collective or compendium fashion. 


Film Financing in India

Bank Financing of “Bollywood” Films: Opportunity or Risk? 

Stephen W. Workman, Esq.*

The film industry in India is prolific. “Bollywood,” as the industry is typically referred to, is the world’s largest by volume, producing in excess of 1000 films annually.1 Surprisingly, however, Indian banks and financial institutions have been slow to enter the film financing arena. Instead, the vast majority of these films have been funded through corporate or private investment arrangements.2 This stands in contrast with the United States, where banks have played a prominent role in Hollywood production finance for years.3


Credit for Reinsurance Rules

U.S. Credit for Reinsurance Rules: A Growing Call for Change

By Stephen W. Workman


Insurance companies will often make the decision to transfer a portion of their portfolio risk to one or more other insurers. The method by which this is achieved is termed “reinsurance.” Essentially, reinsurance is a transaction whereby one insurance company indemnifies another insurance company against all or a portion of a loss that may arise under one or more policies.1 Termed another way, “reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies.”2 The insurance company acquiring the risk is known as the “cedant,” “assuming insurer” or the “reinsurer.” The company transferring risk is known as the “ceding insurer” or the “primary” or “direct” insurer.3 Reinsurance companies themselves also purchase reinsurance, creating a multi-tiered indemnity structure. This tiering of risk is known as retrocession.4


Copyright Fundamentals

An Introduction to Copyright Law by Steve Workman, Esq.

Copyright infringement -- actual or alleged -- seems to represent the single largest legal headache faced by members of the e-commerce community. Why is this? Well, if you're a webmaster, it's because either (a) you are concerned with making sure your images are properly licensed or acquired, to avoid copyright problems; or (b) as is often the case, you find yourself fielding "notices" from self-styled web police demanding that you remove content because it allegedly violates someone's copyright or (c) as is even more often the case, you understand that copyright is an important concept but, frankly, you're unsure how you should deal with it. If you're an online service provider, copyright is a major headache because you're often being threatened -- through cryptic e-mails -- with litigation unless you pull the plug on a site because it supposedly contains pirated images.

Recent developments in copyright law, specifically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act "DMCA"), signed into law on October 28, 1998, have the effect of altering traditional notions of third-party liability for copyright infringement in the context of the Internet. I describe the impact of DMCA on your business in a separate article, also found on this web site. This article summarizes certain basic copyright principles.


XXX Top Level Domains

A Windfall for ICM Registry, and Potentially Worse

Stephen W. Workman, Esq.

In a reversal of position, ICANN has decided to authorize ICM Registry to offer and oversee a new “xxx” TLD regime.  Whatever you may think of ICANN’s decision, for now it’s a reality to be dealt with. So the question becomes whether you, as an owner or operator of adult websites, should participate in this, eh hum, brave new world.

The creation of the xxx registry presents you with a Hobson’s choice:  If your site is successful, and you don’t purchase the xxx domain, chances are that someone else will. If that happens, there are two potential results, neither good.  Result One: the xxx domain registrant will attempt extortion, demanding payment of several thousands dollars in exchange for transferring the domain to you. Result Two: the domain registrant will launch a site in hopes of confusing consumers as to its identity or affiliation with yours and, as parasites are want to do, feed off the success you’ve worked so hard to enjoy.


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